“So you’re telling me after 21 years at this label, if I don’t open for your little ingénue, who wouldn’t even make it as one of my back-up singers, that you’re not going to support me? Well…you can kiss my decision as I’m walking out the door.”
Earlier this week, thanks to Hulu, I watched the pilot for Nashville, which premieres tonight at 10/9C on ABC.
As a woman, a native Nashvillian and a rabid Connie Britton fan (TEXAS FOREVER), I AM the core demographic that Nashville was written for. I was sold on the show from the moment I read the summary after it was announced in the spring. My hopes for the show were boosted even higher when most TV critics named it among the best new shows of the fall. I was desperate for the pilot to live up to expectations.
I’ve already season passed it on the DVR. I already have a ship (shippers gotta ship, y’all!) that is sure to be deliciously angsty, as one of them is married. And before you judge me, there is a scene between these two characters where the chemistry is SO ridiculous, you’d have to be dead not to ship it. I’m not going to go into anymore detail than that. When you watch it, you’ll know what I was talking about. The cast, lead by Britton and Hayden (Save the Cheerleader) Panettiere, is universally strong, and the characters, while there are some soap opera archetypes (the power-hungry daddy, the struggling waitress with a dream), are strongly defined. And the music is great, especially the Civil Wars-esque ballad that closes the show. All in all, the pilot is a must see, and I hope that the series continues to build from here.
After I watched Nashville, I got to thinking about pilot episodes. They are definitely a tricky thing, which is why I am so impressed when one is excellent. Pilots have to introduce all their characters, set up the storyline so that the audience CARES about the characters (so they are often overstuffed with exposition), and at the same time show the Network Suits what the show is capable of and how it could bring them all the money and acclaim that they desire. It’s a tall order.